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Digest: Radio Royalty Battles Restart in Congress, SoundExchange Audits DSPs, Apple Moves iTunes to Ireland

Posted by Glen Sears | January 30, 2017 9:29 am | No Comments

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Top Story This Week

SoundExchange Issues Audit Notices for Many Digital Music Services
Federal Register notices have recently been issued to audit certain companies in various music spaces, including satellite radio, webcasters, broadcasters who stream, and business establishment services. While notices of these audits are public, the results are not. All that is publicly known is that a number of services will have to deal with SoundExchange’s auditors, who under CRB rules must be Certified Public Accountants.

Read the full story on Broadcast Law Blog

Other Music News Highlights

Radio Royalties Battle Lines Being Drawn With New Congress. According to the NAB, 115 members of Congress have signed the non-binding resolution, dubbed the Local Radio Freedom Act, which resists efforts by labels to gather royalty payments for radio play.

Apple Moving International iTunes Business to Ireland. Apple announced its intentions to move its iTunes business to Ireland in September when it transferred an estimated $9 billion of iTunes assets.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Saw Revenues Grow 10% Last Year. While it’s true that Sony/ATV’s core UK company – Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd – saw revenues of £53m (+10.3%) in its last fiscal year, along with operating profits of £2.26m (-15.2%), further calculations give a fuller picture of the publisher’s commercial performance.

Sony International Boss Edgar Berger Exits After 12 Years. News of Berger’s exit comes in the same month we learned that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton – the figure ultimately responsible for Sony Music and Sony Pictures – is also out, leaving to focus on his role as Chairman of Snap Inc’s board.

Russia Permanently Blocks DailyMotion, Citing Copyright Law. The Moscow city court ruled that DailyMotion had repeatedly violated Russia’s copyright law by hosting shows from Russian TV network Pyatnitsya!, owned by Gazprom’s TV arm Gazprom Media.

Digest: Sprint Buys 33% of TIDAL, MusicFirst Lobbies Congress, YouTube Red Expanding in 2017

Posted by Glen Sears | January 23, 2017 9:21 am | No Comments

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Top Story This Week

Sprint Buys 33% of Jay Z’s Music Streaming Service Tidal
Sprint Corp. acquired a 33 percent stake in music-streaming service Tidal as the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier turns to media streaming to attract more customers with exclusive content.

Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s chief executive officer, will join the Tidal board and musician Jay Z will continue to run the business, according to a statement Monday. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Sprint paid $200 million for the stake, according to a report in MusicBusinessWorldwide.

Read the entire story on Bloomberg

Other Music News Highlights

MusicFirst Coalition Pens Letter to Congress on Radio, Copyright Concerns. Dated Jan. 18, the letter outlines the group’s main aims in its pursuit of “market-based principles [that] drive compensation for all artists and creators whenever and however their music is played.”

CEO Susan Wojcicki Promises YouTube Red Expansion In 2017. “We’ll continue to roll out YouTube Red in new markets throughout 2017, giving creators another meaningful way to earn revenue from their content and fans access to brand new original series and films.”

Donald Trump Expected to Appoint Ajit Pai as New FCC Chairman. In his time at the FCC, Pai has been extremely vocal about his unhappiness with the agency’s heavy hand, and has signaled an intent to roll back the FCC’s “open internet” rules, also known as Net Neutrality.

Is Apple Getting Serious About Original Content? The iPhone maker is exploring producing original television shows and movies to turn its Apple Music subscription service into what Apple executive Jimmy Iovine described Jan. 14 as “an entire cultural, pop cultural experience.”

Have $9.99 Streaming Subscriptions Reached A Saturation Point? MiDIA Research’s Mark Mulligan wonders, based on the financially polarizing pricing structure currently being implemented by the streaming industry, if the number of customers willing to pay $9.99 has hit a saturation point.

Garth Brooks’ Ghost Tunes Folding Into Amazon Music. A digital and physical distribution platform billed as an alternative to iTunes that launched a little over two years ago, Ghost Tunes is apparently folding into Amazon Music.

Sony/ATV Responds Publicly To Paul McCartney Lawsuit. McCartney filed the lawsuit last week in the Southern New York District Court, claiming that Sony/ATV had repeatedly failed to confirm it would transfer US copyrights to the songwriter when the company’s legal rights expire.

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Digest: Soundcloud Is/Isn’t Running Out of Cash, SESAC Sells to Blackstone (for Maybe A Lot?)

Posted by Glen Sears | January 9, 2017 9:47 am | No Comments

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Top Story This Week

SoundCloud ‘May Run Out Of Cash This Year’ As It Posts $54M Loss
SoundCloud’s losses grew faster than its revenues in 2015 – with the company now admitting that, should its subscription service flop, its funding may run dry this year, according to a new filing at Companies House (UK).

“The assumption of a successful launch of the new subscription service is the key element of [our] financial projections for the next three years… [This] bears financial risks regarding the operating results and cash flows of the group. The occurrence of these risks can seriously affect the ability of the group to generate sufficient cash to cover the planned expenditures and could require the Group to raise additional funds which have not yet been agreed.”

Read the full story on Music Business Worldwide

Other Music News Highlights

SoundCloud Responds To Cash Crunch Claims. In a statement, Soundcloud told journalists: “We are on a very positive path to achieving our aim of enabling all creators to be paid for their work, while also building a financially sustainable platform where our connected community of creators, listeners and curators can continue to thrive.”

Blackstone to Acquire Music Rights Organization SESAC. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but this marks Blackstone’s first step in a new strategy to hold onto private investments longer than most equity firms, a point highlighted by SESAC CEO John Josephson in the announcement.

Was Blackstone’s SESAC Acquisition a $1 Billion Deal? Ed Christman looks at the tea leaves in the Blackstone/SESAC acquisition that “might well be $1 billion deal,” including company financials and Wall Street reports.

BMI Files Action Against RMLC Over Royalty Rate Proposal. “The RMLC can point to no changed circumstances that warrant a reduction in BMI’s interim or final rate,” the BMI filing states. “BMI believes that the market developments will support a final rate of greater than 1.7 percent of gross revenue payable to BMI.”

BMG Responds To Appeal In Cox Communications Dispute. “Cox claims that BMG’s notices are ‘littered with flaws’, but Cox was able to identify errors in a tiny handful of the 1.8 million BMG notices at issue — the evidence showed that Rightscorp’s system was ‘well over 99%’ accurate.”

SiriusXM Ends 2016 With More Than 31 Million Subscribers. The company also said that it expects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), as well as free cash flow when it reports its full financials next month.

All Three Major Labels, Pandora and RIAA Announce Support for Hi-Res Audio Streaming. The announcement came during, and from, the 50th Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where the DEG sponsored a hi-res “Audio Pavilion.” The exhibition manifested its “Stream the Studio” message with a fully-equipped world-class recording facility filled with hi-res devices and showcasing a series of live demo sessions with award-winning engineers.

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Digest: SoundExchange Revenue To Drop in 2017, Alibaba Investing $7.2 Billion in Entertainment

Posted by Glen Sears | January 3, 2017 9:50 am | No Comments

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Top Story This Week

SoundExchange Could See Collected Revenue Shrink by $200 Million in 2017
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, a recent shift to direct licensing likely lead to slower growth in 2016 and a precipitous drop this year as collections could decrease by about $200 million, according to Billboard estimates.

The primary reason for this loss is that some of the major satellite, digital radio and cable music players have begun moving away from using a compulsory license for recorded music and are instead signing direct deals with record labels.

Read the full story on Billboard

Other Music New Highlights

European Entertainment Stocks Mostly Down in 2016. European entertainment industry stocks are on track to mostly finish 2016 lower amid concerns about economic trends and advertising revenue momentum, as well as Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and individual challenges.

Apple Music Beats Spotify, Pandora To Rank 9th In Mobile Usage, Says Nielsen. Despite heavy iOS focus and status as a paid subscription service, with 20 million paid users, about two-thirds of the app’s overall 68.4 million 2016 users accessed the app’s limited free offerings.

Alibaba Set to Invest $7.2 Billion on Entertainment Content. The unit’s new CEO Yu Yongfu said that the company planned to invest heavily in content, adding that he “didn’t come to play,” according to an internal memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by a company spokesperson.

RIAA Exec Q&A: 2017 Will be a “Critical Year” for Music Law. “While litigation can be an important tool, it often takes a long time and the results are unclear,” says Steve Marks. “Solutions between business and industry partners can clear a path through thorny legal issues.”

SoundCloud Touts Music Discovery, Creator Updates In Year End Report. SoundCloud is touting improvements in both music discovery and tools for creators in its year-end wrap up—2016 was the year that the music streamer finally added a paid subscription service and began paying more, but not all, creators.

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Recent posts

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